Instructables
Picture of Plastic Dress and matching Purse
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This dress and purse was made with plastic grocery bags.Ask your friends and family to save bags for you, it won't take long to get as many as you need!  It took 40 bags to make the purse and about 200 for the dress. I made it for my daughter to model in the 2009 Santa Fe Recycle Art Trashion Show. We got 3rd place! The blue strips woven through the waist and the top edge of the purse was cut from a pretty blue plastic bag. I lined the dress with 3 old white cotton shirts from the thrift shop.
 
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Step 1: Cutting the bags into strips

Picture of cutting the bags into strips
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Flatten out the bag. cut off the bottom and the handles. Open up the bag and begin cutting a spiral strip about 1-1/2" wide, turning the bag as you go. Keep cutting until you have one long strip. Tie the ends of the strips together, cutting off the excess.Start rolling the strips into a ball. Continue tying strips together until you have 20 or 30 bags cut up. This can be time consuming but I like to cut the bags up while I'm watching TV and, before I know it, I've got a couple dozen bags cut up and rolled into a ball.

Step 2: Begin to crochet

Picture of begin to crochet
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You will need to use a large metal crochet hook, I use a size N/15.  It might be a good idea to make a simple rug first, just to get the feel of the plastic. If you pull on the plastic too hard it will break, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast. This rug is being made with plastic bags from several different stores. I'm using a double crochet stitch, but I think a single crochet stitch would work also, it would just take more time. 
kf4nxs2 years ago
This is not one bit Trashy, glad that our youth is learning to recycle and care for our little marble.
Oh that looks like so cool! That Recycle Art Trashion Show sounds like a blast!!!
its_mishra9 months ago
Sweet idea,1question, doesn't it sound like a plastic bag does , while moving in it? but awesome idea,at the first glance, I really thought it was 3d printed,but its got a lot more soul than a cad machined dress. God bless.
Im going to make this because I love creative recycled outfits! Lol
Such a brilliant recycling process!
clever !!
WUVIE1 year ago
Oh my gosh, this is so cute, and so creative! And you crochet, too?
I'm so envious! Putting it on my list of 'things to learn one day'. :-)
katvanlew (author)  WUVIE1 year ago
Thank you, I learned to crochet when I was young and always have a project going.
wilgubeast2 years ago
So awesome. Well done. With the SF plastic bag tax, that dress is worth something like $24. Awesome upcycling.
katvanlew (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
thanks for the nice comment, the thing about being a creative person is experimenting with different materials and sometimes projects don't turn out as well as you'd like them to. sometimes my experiments with "trash" get thrown in the trash, but this one turned out well.
No worry about wine stains on an evening out Eh.
I like the randomness of the colors.
Joe
katvanlew (author)  Josehf Murchison2 years ago
thanks, I am pleased with the way it turned out.
alpinerose2 years ago
I like knitting better than crochet. Think I will try something in a knit pattern. Should be fun.
katvanlew (author)  alpinerose2 years ago
post pictures when you are done, I would like to see what you make!
tn.2 years ago
genius!!!!!
katvanlew (author)  tn.2 years ago
thanks for the nice comment!
capt redd2 years ago
all new meaning for the term bag lady lol
katvanlew (author)  capt redd2 years ago
Exactly!
elewis032 years ago
You are so talented!
katvanlew (author)  elewis032 years ago
Thank you for the nice comment!
poofrabbit2 years ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the fiber arts contest!! Good luck to you!
katvanlew (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
Thank you, I am thrilled to be a finalist!
Over time the garment will biodegrade due to sunlight. If stored in the dark, like a closet or drawer, that will take a very long time. If left in the sun the process is surprisingly fast. Clever idea!
katvanlew (author)  emerson.john2 years ago
Yes, if you make a rug out of the plastic bags, it's ok to put it outside under a covered porch., do not let it be in direct sunlight for very long.
godbacon2 years ago
Beautiful job, I would just caution anyone wearing these to be very weary of open flames. Not a good idea to attend barbecues or campfires in one of these.
Dakotamouse2 years ago
this reminds me of the early 70's when everyones grandma saved bread bags and crocheted rugs. I'll bet you remember those days too!
katvanlew (author)  Dakotamouse2 years ago
that is exactly where I got the idea from! one of my daughters actually made a rug from bread bags several years ago.
sunshiine2 years ago
My daughter is saving bags to make rugs and handbags. I will share this with her. So pretty! I hope your day shines! Sunshiine
Sunshiine
sanjay1172 years ago
diffcuilt to decide , which is beautiful/ WEARER OR THE WORN ONE !!!!
wold6302 years ago
Very impressive. I love the blue stripe to give the dress character.